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Running a vehicle rental business

Starting up a vehicle rental business

Starting up a new vehicle rental business – whether you intend operating one vehicle or many – is a major decision that should be based on quality advice and information.

We recommend that very early in your planning process, you get professional advice from people and organisations such as lawyers, accountants, insurance agents and Inland Revenue.

You can also contact us for advice on the vehicle use rules and regulations you must follow.

Getting a transport service licence

You'll need a transport service licence to own and manage a vehicle rental service business. 

Find out how to get a transport service licence

Understanding the Operator Licensing Rule

Section 4 of the Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing 2017 specifies the minimum legal standards and requirements you must meet in operating a vehicle rental business.

Most importantly, it requires you to:

  • keep a register of your vehicles and the people who hire them
  • sign a written agreement with each vehicle hirer and provide them with a copy
  • explain the hire agreement if the hirer asks you to
  • ensure that the hirer and/or anyone who intends driving the vehicle has a current and valid driver licence for the vehicle
  • offer the driver insurance for the vehicle for the term of their hire.

Land Transport Rule: Operator Licensing 2017
Find out more about driver licence classes

Meeting vehicle requirements

The vehicles you hire to customers must meet higher safety standards before you can provide them for hire. These include registration and annual licensing requirements and routine certificate of fitness inspections. Your vehicles must continue to meet these safety standards while operated in a transport service.

When buying vehicles for your business, you should also be aware of the safety features common in many modern vehicles and any features that could affect the environment.

Find out about registration and annual licensing requirements
More about choosing a safe vehicle

If you need more help

Call our contact centre for advice on and help with complying with all transport-related rules, regulations, and vehicle standards and requirements.